Brookton Community Garden celebrates first harvest as project grows from strength to strength

Isabel VieiraNarrogin Observer
Brookton Community Garden members Joy Reiter, Theresa Fancote, David Bond, Ryan Reiter holding Cora Reiter, Tamara Lilly and Carol Bond.
Camera IconBrookton Community Garden members Joy Reiter, Theresa Fancote, David Bond, Ryan Reiter holding Cora Reiter, Tamara Lilly and Carol Bond.

The first crop of vegetables has been harvested from the Brookton Community Garden where volunteers are working to finish redeveloping the space for the new year.

In 2019, a group of local residents came together to discuss the feasibility of a community garden at the old tennis court on White Street in Brookton.

Over the past year the group of volunteers has been hosting busy bees to redevelop the gardens and welcome new members.

Brookton Community Garden member Tamara Lilly said the old tennis court was the perfect location to transform into an active community space.

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“We’ve got some old tennis courts of the corner of White Street and I thought it was a great space to put a garden because it’s already fully fenced,” she said.

“We could just activate that space and it’s quite central in town.”

The group of green thumbs has been meeting on the third Saturday of every month to refurbish the old club rooms and turn the court surface into garden beds.

“We’ve had a design for a massive rotunda that’s going to get built in the middle of the old tennis court and then all of these gardens will be created around it,” Ms Lilly said

“Everything that is being used to create that garden is upcycled furniture.

“So it’s going to be like stepping into a house but there will be succulents growing out of bed frames and bath tubs.”

Brookton Community Garden
Camera IconBrookton Community Garden Credit: Pictures: Kleenheat

Ms Lilly said she hoped the garden would become an intergenerational community hub.

“The benefit of the community garden is that it’s an all-ages club, anyone can join from the tiny tots right up to the seniors,” she said.

“Everyone can shares ides, learning and knowledge so it can become an educational space.

“It’s a space where everyone comes together for the greater good of what the garden stands for — which is to engage the community as a whole.”

She said the garden layout was wheelchair accessible to allow all community members to use the space.

“We are not ripping it out of the tennis court surface, we are using some of it as pathways throughout the garden,” she said.

“That way we can have elderly residents can come in and spend some time in the garden.”

The community garden is one of the five local groups under the banner of Brookton Community Inc which is an initiative designed to support smaller community groups.

Brookton Community Garden member Joy Reiter planting the garden beds
Camera IconBrookton Community Garden member Joy Reiter planting the garden beds

The Brookton Community Inc received a Kleenheat Community Grant to help fund the installation of a water tank and plumbing to allow the garden to have a self-sufficient water supply.

The group also received further funding from the Shire of Brookton, the Department of Communities and sponsors such as CBH group and Brookton Rural Traders.

After more than a year the volunteers reaped the reward of their hard work when they harvested their first batch of produce.

“We have only just picked our first lot of lettuce and we shared it among our crew,” Ms Lilly said.

“In the long term we would love to be able to make something with the food and share a meal together.

“We want to use the food to be used for those who need it so we plan to keep the invite open for those who want to come along and share a meal.”

Ms Lilly said everyone was welcome to get their hands dirty to help get the gardens officially up and running.

The group meet on the third Saturday of every month and plan to increase their meetings to fortnightly in 2022.

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